Rockfish and Sweet Potato Thai Red Curry

My husband and I are spending a lot of time curled up at home waiting for our son to arrive. Any day now, kid, any day. The major preparations are done, so now we wait. Growing this baby has made me generally repulsed by seafood, which is extremely unfortunate in my line of work. I am told that my old food preferences will return shortly, and I look forward to treating myself to some sushi as soon as they do. This curry still appeals to me. My love of all things curry combined with the mild flavor of the rock cod makes this particular fish dish not only acceptable, but crave-worthy.  I used my go-to red curry base and added sweet potatoes to the mix to use some of the fall produce that is starting to appear in my CSA box. You can use any sort of squash if sweet potatoes aren’t your thing.

 

Rockfish and Sweet Potato Thai Red Curry

2 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste

1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk

2 Tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp light brown sugar

Juice of 1 lime, plus additional lime wedges for serving

1 Tbsp corn or peanut oil

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 lb of rockfish fillet, pin-bones removed and cut into 1 inch pieces (The mount of fish in a half share)

1 handful of torn Thai basil (Regular basil works in a pinch.)

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves and stems

Steamed rice for serving

 

1. In a blender, combine the shallots, garlic, and curry paste with 1/8 cup water and blend until smooth.

2. In a bowl, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

3. In a large pot with a lid over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the curry base and sweet potatoes. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant and heated through. This should take about a minute.

4. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer, uncovered, for four minutes.

5. Add the cubed fish to the sauce and cover, cooking for five to eight minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flaky and the sweet potatoes are soft.

5. Serve over rice and sprinkle with basil and cilantro. Garnish with additional lime wedges.

Enjoy!

 

Maple Glazed Salmon with Pancetta and Sage Delicata Squash

Fall is here. Well, where I live it does’t quite feel like it just yet, but I hear that the bay area is starting to get that lovely cold snap in the air. I have a delicata squash obsession. Part of it is the ease of preparation (You eat the skin. No peeling!), but the larger part of it is the nutty sweet taste. The Davis Food Co-Op has had these beauties for the last couple of weeks and I have already consumed at least 10 lbs of them. I tend to go on a delicata binge when they show up. (BONUS HINT: Roast some delicata squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix some chevre with curry powder. Smear the squash pieces with curry chevre and go NUTS. Lunch of champions!)

This is one of those go-to weeknight meals that will take you 30 minutes start to finish, but you wouldn’t hesitate to serve it to guests. It is just that tasty.

 

Maple Glazed Salmon with Pancetta and Sage Delicata Squash

1 large delicata squash

2 Tbsp plus pure maple syrup

2 tsp olive oil

2 smashed whole garlic cloves

salt and pepper

1 lb salmon fillet, portioned into two 8 ounce pieces (Half share, double this recipe for a full share)

2 Tbsp whole grain mustard

5-8 whole sage leaves

2 oz. pancetta, sliced into thin strips

 

1. Arrange your oven so that you have one rack in the top third of the oven and one rack in the bottom third. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut off and discard the ends. Cut the squash into 1/2 thick moon-shaped pieces.

3. On a metal roasting pan with raised edges, toss the squash with 2 tsp olive oil, garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Arrange so that every piece of squash contacts the pan on one side. You can nest them together, but don’t stack them.

4. Bake the squash on the bottom rack of the oven for 7 minutes.

5. While the squash is cooking, combine 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a small bowl. Arrange the salmon fillets skin-side down on a roasting pan with a raised edge. Brush the fillets generously with the maple mustard mixture.

6. Remove the squash from the oven and flip each piece over so that the roasted side is now up. Sprinkle the sage leaves and pancetta strips on top. Return the squash to the oven to cook for an additional 6 minutes.

7. Remove the squash from the oven and stir, mixing the sage and pancetta into the squash. Return the pan to the bottom rack of the oven to finish while the salmon cooks. Place the salmon fillets on the top rack of the oven and cook until opaque, approximately 6-8 minutes.

8. Remove both pans from the oven and allow to cool slightly before plating. Remember to remove the garlic cloves from the squash prior to serving.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Pan-fried Sand Dabs

This is the most popular way to prepare pan-ready sand dabs, and with good reason. It’s delicious. There are many variations on this recipe, and this one is admittedly basic, but I promise you that you will love it. There are all kinds of fancier ways to cook sand dabs, but if this is your first time eating them, do this.

 

Pan-fried Sand Dabs

1 egg beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 pound pan-dressed Sand Dabs (The amount you will receive in a half share)
1/2 cup flour seasoned with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup  panko bread crumbs
¼ cup clarified butter
Lemon wedges

1. In a bowl, beat together the milk and eggs. Dredge each fish in the seasoned flour before dipping into the egg/milk mixture and rolling to coat in the bread crumbs.

2. In a large skillet, heat the clarified butter over a medium-high heat.

3. Cook the breaded sand dabs for 3-4 minutes per side. Reduce the heat if the pan begins smoking.

4. Serve immediately and garnish with the lemon wedges.

NOTE: Bones can be easily removed from pan-ready sand dabs after cooking. Information on that can be found here.

Enjoy!

Cod meuniere

We are all familiar with sole meunière, the lemony buttery delicious and simple way to prepare sole. It is equally delicious with rockfish, or any other firm white fish that you can find. It is traditionally prepared using a whole fish, but adapting the basic technique for use with fillets makes this an easy dinner.

 

Cod meunière

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

salt and pepper

1 lb of cod fillets, skin-off, pin-bones removed (The amount of fish in a half share.)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon lemon zest

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (Approximately 3 small lemons.)

1 tablespoon chapped fresh parsley

 

1. Combine the flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large shallow dish.

2. Dry the cod fillets with paper towels and lightly salt both sides.

3. Dredge the fillets in the flour mixture and set aside.

4. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until the butter begins to turn golden brown. Add the parsley to the butter.

5. Place the fillets in the hot butter and parsley. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.

6. Turn the fillets carefully using two spatulas and cook for an additional 2 minutes. The goal is to remove the fish from the pan while it is slightly undercooked, it will finish cooking while it rests. Remove the fillets to a warm plate.

7. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice to the pan. Stir together briefly before adding the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook until the foaming subsides and immediately pour the sauce over the fillets. Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Salmon Season is BACK

After a monthlong hiatus, salmon season is back! The fishing has been great this week and I am happy to report that the fish are beautiful. Tony Rivas, of fish plant legend, actually serenaded the whole fish shares that went out this week. “You are so beautiful, to meeeeeeeeee!” I really need to record him doing this, as it is a regular occurrence and it makes me laugh every time. Like an idiot.  

Your salmon will come to you with the pin bones in, the skin on, and the scales off.Make sure to keep it nice and cold. The best way to do that is to put it on ice in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

Salmon links:

Seared Wild Salmon with Grilled Bread Salad and Parsley Anchovy Aioli

Seared Salmon with Shallot and Green Onion Relish

Salmon freezing and pin bone removal instructions

North Coast Salmon Fishery Information

Recipe ideas from Siren subscribers

Add your ideas over in the recipe forum. This week I pan-seared my fillets and topped them with herb butter. It was perfect and I will be doing it again with my next round of fillets. Mmmmmmmm

 

Squid Links

Well, more category tags than links. There have been some slight changes to the Siren website. I added a recipe forum where you can all share your ideas and creations. I have also added category tags to all of the posts. So, I have tagged this post with all of the categories that apply to the other squid posts. If you want a summary of all things squid, click on the “Squid” category. If you want to see squid recipes, click on the “squid recipes” category and you will see them all. If you want source information, click on “Know your source.” Care instructions? Got it!

I hope that these changes make life a little bit easier for all of us!

Squid Ceviche

It is hot where I live. Too hot for me. I am avoiding all extraneous heat sources, including ovens and grills. This Squid Ceviche makes me happy for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s almost like eating raw seafood. The squid is blanched to eliminate all health risks, but the cooking happens so quickly that it seems raw. Secondly, you only have to stand over a pot of boiling water for about a minute. Lastly, the squid ceviche, like all ceviches, is  served and eaten cold. Brilliant!

Squid Ceviche

1 lb of fresh squid tubes and tentacles (The amount you receive in a half share, double this recipe for a full share)

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp white vinegar

3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced

Pinch of sugar

1 medium red onion, minced

2 cloves of garlic, cut in half

Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients besides the squid. Set aside.

2. Prepare to blanch the squid. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a colander in the sink and prepare a large ice bath.

3. Wash the squid.

4. When the water is at a full boil, blanch the squid for no more than one minute.

5. Drain the squid in the colander and then place immediately into the ice bath. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

6. Remove the garlic pieces from the marinade. Add the squid to the marinade and cover. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.

Enjoy!

Kraftor, Swedish Style Crayfish

We are all well aware of the Louisiana crayfish boil. There are thousands of recipes that can be found online quite easily. What is less well-known, and in my opinion, just as delicious, is the Swedish crayfish boil. Crayfish parties are an important part of the Swedish summer. My Swedish grandmother never let me in on this little tradition, but I am fortunate to have many Swedish friends who have asked me to get crayfish for their stateside crayfish parties. This recipe is best enjoyed with large amounts of lager and ice cold akvavit. Vodka will do in a pinch. Get a nice crusty loaf of bread and some sharp cheddar on the side.

Kraftor

2 lbs of crayfish (The amount you will receive with a half share, double this for a full share)

3 quarts of cold water

5 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

6 large fronds of fresh dill, or 15 dill crowns. If you grow dill in your garden, these are the flowery crowns that appear on the top of the stalks.

1 tsp of anise (not necessary, but very helpful)

1. Make sure that all of your crayfish are alive. Straight tails = dead crayfish, throw them out.

2. Boil water, salt, sugar, dill, and anise in a large pot.

3. Cook the crayfish in the boiling mixture for 10 minutes after the water returns to a boil.

4. Allow the crayfish to cool in the cooking liquid. Once cooled, drain the liquid. IMPORTANT: Crayfish with a straight tail after cooking were dead prior to cooking. DO NOT EAT THEM. Throw them away.

5. Serve the crayfish cold with strong sharp cheddar and a hunk of bread.

Enjoy!

Know Your Source: Oysters from Point Reyes Oyster Co. with Anna’s Go-to Mignonette

It’s oyster week, partly because the ocean was too rough for the little boats to make it out, but mostly because our locally farmed oysters are daaaaaaaaaamn fine. Friends, I am here to tell you that aquaculture can be good! When I talk about sourcing aquacultured shellfish, I am often greeted by a look of oh-em-gee-what-sort-of-chemicals-are-going-to-be-in-that-FRANKENOYSTER terror. Aquaculture has earned its bad reputation. There are some dirty fish farms out there that devastate the surrounding environment and produce a product that is similar in taste and chemical make-up to a rubber tire.

We all need to learn to find and eat responsibly farmed fish. More than half of the seafood consumed in the world is aquacultured and the industry is constantly making advances that lead to better tasting fish and less negative environmental impact. Some farms are already doing great things.

Shellfish mariculture (aquaculture in salt water) is especially clean, and the results are just as tasty and more consistent than wild creatures. In fact, I would say that maricultured shellfish is actually safer to consume than wild unless you REALLY know what you are doing when gathering it. You are probably not going to find oysters in a store or restaurant that were not farmed. Oysters and other bivalves actually clean the water, so the waters in and around oyster farms are consistently tested for chemical contaminants and the algae blooms that can cause red tide. A farm can only harvest if the water conditions are right. Locally, oyster farms are shut down for a couple of days after each rainfall to allow the oysters to expel any toxins that may have run down from the hills with the rain water.

This week we have two varieties of oysters from Point Reyes Oyster Company. Your oysters will be mixed together in the same bag, but they will be easy to tell apart. The Miyagi’s are triple the size of the Atlantic’s and their shells are very different. First up, the Point Reyes Miyagi.

The Miyagi’s have a gorgeous cream and purple shell with a nice deep cup.

They are cultured in floating bags that are placed in the top of the water column where algae is most dense. They are salty and not at all wimpy. These are great on the half shell with mignonette (see below) and they hold up well to grilling.

Next, we have petite and mild Atlantic oysters. You may be thinking, “How the hell are these Atlantic oysters local?” Well, Atlantic refers to the variety, or seed that the oyster was cultured from. They were grown right here in Point Reyes.

They are petite with cream and green tinged shells. They have a milder sweeter taste, but they are still plenty briny, as are all oysters that come from our corner of the world.

 

Notes on Safe Handling

Your oysters are alive, and they need to stay that way until you eat them. Keep them cold cold cold but not frozen. I usually put them in a colander with ice, and put a bowl under the colander to catch the water as the ice melts. Fresh water from melting ice can kill the oysters, so you have to give it a way to drain. I ensure maximum oyster survival by covering the whole thing with a wet paper towel. DO NOT put your oysters in a sealed plastic bag, the little fellas need to breathe. Here is a comprehensive guide to safe handling.

 

Shucking

Shucking can be intimidating for a novice, but with a little practice and a good shucking knife, you should be enjoying oysters on the half shell in no time. I am not an expert, but I put together this short little how to video last time Siren had oyster week. The oyster I am shucking IS one of the varieties that you are getting this week.

 

Mignonette!

I really don’t want you to mess with these oysters too much. I mean, there isn’t much better in this world than a super fresh oyster on the half shell with just the right amount of mignonette. So, to encourage raw slurping I will give you my super basic old standby mignonette. I like my mignonette simple.  I don’t add herbs or mess with fancy vinegar.  Don’t get me wrong, I never met a vinegar that I didn’t love, but when it comes to topping my oysters I prefer to use a good quality red wine vinegar.  Like I said, oysters are pretty perfect just the way they are.

1/2 cup good quality red wine vinegar

2 tbsp finely chopped shallots

1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper

A good pinch of salt

Combine all of the ingredients.  Serve chilled over oysters on the half shell.

 

Fresh Picked Dungeness Crabmeat

This week we have fresh picked Dungeness crabmeat. The local crab season is winding down, and this will definitely be the last of the crab from Siren until November. SALMON SEASON STARTS NEXT WEEK! The meat is picked by hand and will come packaged in a 10 oz. or 20 oz. tray. It is always a good idea to pick through the meat to remove any shell fragments that might have made it into the final pack.

The trays are perfect for freezing, and the meat will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. The best way to store the tray of crabmeat without freezing is in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Storing them on ice in the refrigerator is even better. The meat should stay fresh for three to four days.

My favorite way to use fresh crabmeat is to toss a couple of handfuls into scrambled eggs. YES. It is especially great if you take that crabby scrambled egg mixture and put it on a croissant.

Crab Links

Crab Season Information

Spaghettini with Dungeness Crabmeat and Jalapeños